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Dwayne Johnson to star in live-action ‘Moana’ film

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Dwayne Johnson announced on social media he will reprise his role of the demi-god Maui in a live-action reimagining of the 2016 animated Disney musical, Moana. The actor confirmed that in addition to Moana and Maui, other beloved characters from cartoon blockbuster to return in the live-action version will be village chief Tui, Te Fiti the goddess, Pua the pig and Heihei the rooster.

Johnson, 50, announced in a video while on the beaches of Hawaii: “I’m deeply humbled and overcome with gratitude to bring the beautiful story of Moana to the live-action big screen. This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people’s grace and warrior strength. I wear this culture proudly on my skin and in my soul, and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reunite with Maui, inspired by the mana and spirit of my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, is one that runs very deep for me … I want to thank my partners at Disney for their strong commitment to this special endeavor, because there is no better world for us to honor the story of our people, our passion and our purpose than through the realm of music and dance, which is at the core of who we are as Polynesian people.”

Johnson starred in the 2016 film alongside Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced Moana. It has not been confirmed if Cravalho, 22, will reprise her role in the live-action film, but she has signed on to be one of the executive producers for the remake. Cravalho said in a statement via Disney: “[Moana] has had such a profound impact on how we think of Disney princesses. Moana’s strength and perseverance are inspiring — to audiences around the world, to me and to everyone who helped bring her to life. I’m looking forward to sharing her story in a whole new way.”

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins /

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